United States Senators Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) introduced a bill last week that would extend the expired biodiesel tax incentive for three years. First implemented in 2005 and allowed to lapse in 2010 and 2012, the $1-per-gallon incentive covers biodiesel, renewable diesel (a similar diesel alternative made with a different technology) and renewable aviation fuel and expired on December 31, 2013.
The bill introduced last week, S. 2021, would extend the tax incentive until 2017, providing the tax certainty the industry needs to gain access to capital and plan for production expansions and additional hiring. In addition to the pending expiration of the tax incentive, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) says the industry also is fighting a weak Renewable Fuel Standard proposal from the EPA, which recently proposed limiting biodiesel volumes under the RFS to 1.28 billion gallons for the next two years, a significant cut from last year’s production of 1.8 billion gallons.
“On behalf of biodiesel producers across the country, we want to thank Sens. Cantwell and Grassley for their leadership on this issue,” said NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs Anne Steckel. “The biodiesel tax incentive has expired three times over the past five years, and each time it has severely disrupted production. By comparison, we know that at least $4 billion in incentives encouraging domestic petroleum production are built into the tax code. We need that same kind of stability for younger, cleaner industries like biodiesel and renewable diesel to compete.”
“This incentive clearly stimulates production and creates jobs at biodiesel plants across the country, and we urge the leadership of both parties to quickly take up this bill to ensure that we can continue the momentum that the biodiesel industry built last year with record production of almost 1.8 billion gallons,” Steckel added.
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